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H.B. Rowe Co. Inc. v. Tippett, 09-1050, concerned a contractor's suit challenging a North Carolina statute that requires prime contractors to engage in good faith efforts to satisfy participation goals for minority and women subcontractors on state-funded construction projects.
The court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded the district court's judgment that the statutory scheme is constitutional both on its face and as applied. The court held that the State has met its burden of producing a strong basis in evidence for its conclusion that minority participation goals were necessary to remedy discrimination against African American and Native American (but not Asian American or Hispanic American) subcontractors. Court also held that the statutory scheme is narrowly tailored to achieve the State's compelling interest in remedying discrimination in public-sector subcontracting against African American and Native American subcontractors. However, the court held that the State has failed to justify its application of the statutory scheme to women.
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